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Mallikarjun Kharge criticises attitude of State-level Congress leaders

After the Congress’ defeats in Bihar and in the bypolls in several States, veteran Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member M. Mallikarjun Kharge has hit out at his colleagues for weakening the party from within by blaming the leadership qualities of former party president Rahul Gandhi and interim president Sonia Gandhi.

Speaking at an event organised to mark the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on Thursday, Mr. Kharge said that instead of taking responsibility for the defeats, State-level leaders had questioned the leadership of the Gandhi family and blamed them. “Candidates lobby for ticket claiming their popularity in districts and constituencies, but blame the Gandhi family members for defeats. All leaders will praise the party when everything goes well. Though 90% of the candidates are selected based on the advice of State leaders, when an election is lost, the Gandhi family is blamed,” the former Union Minister said.

“If our ideology weakens, we will be destroyed,” he said, before going on to question the credentials of leaders who could not even ensure the victory of councillors.

Leader of the Opposition and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah acknowledged Mr. Kharge’s pain over the party’s defeats in recent elections and said the Congress’ failure to convince voters of the party’s programmes could be the reason for it.

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